A day trip to Edinburgh usually means food in the city centre.
So, fancy something different? Hop on the number 26 bus to Portobello, get off around the town hall – you can’t miss it – and stroll along the High Street to The Skylark.
It’s a hidden gem of a place – rustic, a bit funky, chic, and the food is simply fantastic.
Every town should have a Skylark – it’s a place to chill, to enjoy brunch or dine out at night, and, no matter when you go, it feels laid back and welcoming.
This was our second visit for weekend brunch.
On the first we went for the soup of the day which was delicious and filling – the menu promises it’s ‘‘always vegetarian, sometimes vegan, but never with stock cubes!’’
It also came with chunky bread which was fantastic.
My other half chose the artisan roll complete with fried egg, smoked streaky bacon, plus a tattie scone and black pudding.
The portion was generous and filling – and simply miles ahead of the stuff served up on our chain pubs.
Sunday saw us back in the area, and the decision to make a return visit was an inspired one.
The place was busy but we still got a table on spec.
My large latte came in a towering mug with no handles, and it went down well as we browsed the menu which is filled with tempting plates.
I went for the croque monsieur – grilled french sandwich with honey roast ham and mature cheddar cheese with salad.
The filling was incredibly light, wonderfully soft but also very filling – and the zing of the salad dressing was a perfect complement.
And it came wrapped in the crustiest bread imaginable.
My other half browsed the egg dishes which glory in the names of Dartagnan, Zinedine Zidane and Serge Gainsbourg ... now that’s how to name your dishes!
The Zidane is poached eggs with Algerian couscous on paratha bread, ole’ Serge is poached eggs on garlic toast with salmon tartare, but it was the musketeer which stood out – poached eggs on roasted mushroom and garlic toast with proscuitto crisp and parmesan shavings.
That’s a lot of flavour to pack on to a plate, and it worked superbly.
Both portions were perfect for brunch/lunch, and we both got value for money, with the total bill just breaking a £20 note.
We’ll definitely be back to sample the evening menu which throws up dishes with names so colourful you just have to try them.
How about George Brassens – a duck burger to you or I – or Indochine (a Hanoi stir fry).
Or, my favourite name, Le Daft Punk – roast pepper burger.
The Skylark has style, and, judging by the overwhelmingly positive feedback on Trip Advisor, everyone loves it. Go explore!